Lung disease affects 1 in 4 Australians and is responsible for 1 in 7 deaths. However, many people tend to ignore the signs and symptoms, often not doing anything about it for far too long.
Lung Health Awareness Month is a Lung Foundation Australia national campaign held in May which aims to raise awareness about the importance of lung health and how to recognise and act upon the symptoms of lung disease.
In the workplace, it can lead to or worsen lung conditions. Being subject to and inhaling mineral and organic dusts, metal and diesel exhaust fumes, or chemical gases can cause inflammation and scarring to the lungs, causing irreversible damage.
Most work-related lung disease can be prevented by reducing or eliminating exposures to those substances. In cases where fumes are created in the working environment, exhaust ventilation systems should be in place to remove these fumes and replace with clean air. As a secondary protection measure, respiratory masks should be provided to create a barrier between your airways and the substances. These masks will filter the dangerous particles to ensure that only clean air is being inhaled. See our infographic on how to select the right respiratory masks here.
There are sadly many stories of men and women affected by work-related lung conditions. Read Ian’s story here. It is important we raise awareness of lung health to prevent more stories like these.
We’re all used to thinking about our heart and skin health but our lungs are equally important. It’s time we made our lung health a priority as well because if you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.